A seasoned litigator, Sara Pikofsky has extensive experience in all phases of litigation, with a focus on violations of ERISA’s fiduciary duty and prohibited transactions provisions, as well as the defense of employers in withdrawal liability disputes. She also advises clients in regard to withdrawal liability risks related to transactions. Her experience covers matters at the trial and appellate levels, including numerous appellate cases. In addition to her litigation experience, Sara advises clients with respect to Department of Labor investigations and on compliance with ERISA's plan asset rules.
Sara previously served as a trial attorney for the US Department of Labor's Office of the Solicitor, Plan Benefits Security Division. In that capacity, she gained significant litigation experience in matters involving pension and welfare plans, including breach of fiduciary duty claims relating to investments in securities and real estate, among others.
- District of Columbia
- New York
- US District Court, District of Columbia
- US Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
- US Court of Appeals, District of Columbia
- Hon. Thomas A. Wiseman, Jr., US District Court, Middle District of Tennessee, 1997-1998
- J.D., Columbia University, 1997, Staff Member, Columbia Human Rights Law Review
- B.A., McGill University, 1992, Faculty Scholar in Honors Political Science, 1990
Advised Stewart & Stevenson LLC in the sale of its businesses and assets to Kirby Corporation for $756.5 million.
Defended Peabody Energy Corporation against a $644 million withdrawal liability claim by the UMWA 1974 Pension Plan, which alleged that Peabody's spinoff, Patriot Coal Company, was done to evade or avoid withdrawal liability.
Advised the Riverside Company in the formation of Riverside Strategic Capital Fund I, L.P., Riverside's first non-control investment fund.
Represented Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems Corporation in a class action litigation brought by retirees (former union employees) who asserted their retiree medical benefits were vested.
Represented Peabody Holding Company, LLC in the dismissal of a complaint alleging ERISA violations by spinning off corporate subsidiaries allegedly not financially viable in the US District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.
Represented JohnsonDiversey, Inc.'s cash balance plan with respect to claims that the plan incorrectly calculated lump sum distributions of pension benefits.
Represented Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in the US Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit in an important ERISA fiduciary breach case.
Represented Macy's, Inc. its directors, and the Macy's Pension and Profit-Sharing Administrative Committee in a lawsuit (dismissed) alleging ERISA violations based on Macy's alleged failure to locate former employees and notify them at the time they became eligible to receive normal retirement pensions.
Represented Xerox and certain of its current and former officers, directors, and employees in an ERISA class action alleging that 401(k) plan fiduciaries breached their fiduciary duties in connection with the Xerox Stock Fund, one of the plan's investment alternatives.
News & Publications
November 12, 2018
September 26, 2018
September 10, 2018
- Fellow, American College of Employee Benefits Counsel
Best Lawyers in America, ERISA Litigation (2017-2019)
Legal 500 US, Labor & Employment: ERISA Litigation, 2015-2016
Chambers USA, ERISA Litigation, 2016-2018